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Old 01-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #1
coleandrobin
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I'm still fairly new to homebrewing as this is my second batch from a kit. I seem to keep running into the same problem. I just got this batch into the primary three days ago. The day after I brewed I had a lot of activity in the airlock, but the next day, nothing. The same thing happened with my first batch. This time I decided to take the time to do a starter yeast hoping to get a stronger reaction.. The temp is hovering around 68 degrees and the OG was 1.075 ishiuld I be worried about the low airlock activity?

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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No you should not worry. Airlock activity is not a good fermentation indicator. Do you have a hydrometer? The only way to tell is to take a gravity reading.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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An airlock is a vent, nothing more. Vigorous airlock activity means that there is fermentation, but lack of it does not mean that anything is wrong - CO2 may be leaking around the airlock, or if you are using a bucket (which tend to have notoriously leaky seals), from around the seal.

The ONLY way to be sure that fermentation is going on is to use a hydrometer and take a gravity reading. If you don't have one, spend the $8 investment to improve your beer.

My advice? Leave the beer alone for at least a week (preferable two) before you even bother taking a reading. You'll see that many of the bets here tend to do 3-4 week primaries; patience can be a good thing.

No matter what, don't start worrying about the beer when you are measuring it in days in the fermenter.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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two weeks is a pretty typical minimum time you want for fermentation and clean up of an ale.

For determining fermentation completion see this:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...ermenting.html

And how to predict completion see this:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...tion-time.html
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:12 PM   #5
coleandrobin
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Thanks for the replies. I do have a hydrometer and ill wait till I rack it into the secondary before I start worrying to much I guess, lol. Related question, my kit said one week primary and two secondary, then bottle. Is there a benefit to waiting longer in the primary? If so, what hydrometer benchmarks am I looking for?

 
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:32 AM   #6
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I always just do primary. Usually anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Your beer is ready when fermentation is complete and the beer has cleared. It is important that once fermentation is complete, you leave the beer on the yeast cake for at least 3-4 days, a lot of important clean up goes on at that time. The yeast will clean up any by products from fermentation.
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